Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

The lights are much brighter there

You've heard of the Philly sound, the sound of Nashville ... Pop is inextricably linked with the city. Yes, even British cities. Nick Coleman presents a guide to the music of urban Britain

Then there were two: Page and Plant got back together. Briefly. Adam Szreter witnessed the re-formation of Led Zeppelin

It was intended to be Plant and Page Unplugged. Perhaps even Plant, Page and Paul Jones Unplugged. In the end MTV settled happily for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, mostly plugged-in and playing together at the London Weekend Television studios.

Exhibitions: Etch a falling star: David Oxtoby's drawings of rock dinosaurs are coveted by the stars themselves. Joseph Gallivan ponders their appeal

Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, Otis Redding, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Marc Bolan, even Robert Plant: you could no doubt get a tasteless charcoal drawing of any of these rock stars down at your local Athena store. So why would anyone want to pay pounds 400 for a scratchy little picture the size of a beer mat of Elton John entitled (punningly) 'Mr E Trip'? Or for a few pounds more, 'Jaggin', an etching of Mick Jagger in an orchid-covered hat?

RECORDS / New Releases: Led Zeppelin: The Complete Studio Recordings (Atlantic, 10 CDs, out tomorrow)

If you were one of the million or so people who bought the original four-disc remastered boxed set in 1990, you might be a bit unhappy about this. The temptation to sell children and pets into slavery to get your hands on it will still be considerable. Not just a mighty musical monolith but also a landmark in crazed CD opulence, this chunky box contains all nine of Led Zeppelin's studio releases, packed back to back in five spined picture books, which are stacked in a grooved rack like used lunch trays in a canteen. No strangers to conspicuous consumption in life, the band's legend is well served by such an absurdly lavish monument.

MUSIC / 'Robert Plant? I'm not a huge fan': Led Zeppelin's original tight-trousered frontman is back with a new album. Andy Gill reports

'I'M pleased with how ridiculous I am,' admits Robert Plant graciously. 'I like me.'

How We Met: Robert Plant and David Bates

David Bates, 40, was a roadie and worked as a DJ before becoming head of A&R at Phonogram Records in 1985. He signed up Tears for Fears and Wet Wet Wet, and last year persuaded Robert Plant to join the label. Robert Plant, 44, once studied chartered accountancy, made his first single at 19, and was the lead singer of Led Zeppelin from 1968 until 1980. Since then he has quashed rumours about Led Zeppelin reforming and pursued a solo career; his new album, 'Fate of Nations', is out in May. Plant lives in London and Worcestershire. He is divorced and has three children.

RECORDS / The IOS Playlist: The five best records of the moment

Schubert: Lieder. Brigitte Fassbaender (Sony, CD only). An extraordinary mezzo sings some of the best-known Goethe settings, including traditionally male ones. Michael White

ROCK / Poor Jason, frozen in fame's headlights

ALL IS quiet outside the Wembley Arena. Touts search in vain for someone to give tickets away to, and old burger cartons flap past like tumbleweeds. Things look bad for Jason Donovan. Take That have usurped his primary-school wall-chart pre-eminence, and Philip Schofield has waltzed off with his technicolor dreamcoat. But inside the auditorium, the signs are better. A fair crowd greets Jason with the noise of 10,000 seagulls in a box.

JAZZ / Boom-time blues: Phil Johnson reports on Mose Allison and the Blues Brothers at Birmingham

THE BLUES has - appropriately enough - a hard time of it trying to escape from down-home stereotypes. Whether it's lager ads on television or Robert Johnson on CD, the image persists of pain, misery and rickety Southern shacks haunted by the Devil or the repo man. A cult of the primitive has helped conceal the fact that, like country music, blues can be sophisticated too, with lyrics as witty and urbane as any Broadway show-tune. They can even be the province, as one of Mose Allison's album-titles puts it, of a middle-class white boy.
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn